Dissociation : Vol. 6, No.2/3, p. 188-192 : The use, misuse, and abuse of art with dissociative/multiple personality disorder patients
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Many MPD patients draw or use expressive outlets either spontaneously or with minimal encouragement. The authors speculate that therapists from various professional orientations, regardless of formal knowledge of art as therapy, are being presented with art products and managing as best they can with little direction. This paper offers the combined perspective of an inpatient occupational therapist and an outpatient clinical social worker. It is a result of our collective professional experience and our reflections about being responsible within the limits of training. We will explore general uses of art by therapists not specifically trained in art as therapy. We will also examine areas in which therapists, whether from inexperience or their own needs, may complicate an already complex and frustrating treatment situation. Finally, we will outline some practical considerations and guidelines for managing art work as a part of therapy.